Housing has become one of the major issues in the United Kingdom’s forthcoming general election with all the major parties making pledges to attract voters.

According to propertywire.com, the conservative party said it will extend the Right to buy scheme and the Liberal Democrats have announced plans to build 300,000 more homes a year and ensure everyone has a decent place to live.

The Labour party said it will build at least 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 with first priority for local first time buyers and introduce three year hosting tenancies with a ceiling on excessive rent rises.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that the £18bn extension of Margaret Thatcher’s Right to buy scheme will be extended to 1.3million families living in housing association properties.

It would be funded by requiring councils to sell off the most expensive social housing when it becomes vacant, replacing it on a one to one basis with more affordable property.

The existing Right to Buy allows tenants living in council owned properties local authority tenants to buy houses and flats at a discount of as much as 70 per cent up to a maximum of £102,700 in London and £77,000 across the rest of England.

Around 500,000 housing association tenants currently have no purchase rights and 800,000 who qualify only for much less generous discounts of £16,000 or less.

But the reaction has been mixed. The Conservative plans will not necessarily boost house building and could weaken the future capacity of the social renting sector to provide a safety net for those who cannot afford to house themselves via the private market, according to Peter Williams, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association.

 

 

SOURCE: THE PUNCH. MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015.

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